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Postgame Quotes

Feb. 21, 2017

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Opening Statement:
“First off, besides the result, it was a good basketball game. Bottom line is we didn’t come up with some 50-50 balls in that first half – they got us on some 50-50 balls, which we pride ourselves on – and obviously [we] missed some free throws. They hit some tough, late-shot-clock threes in that second half. Dennis Smith, that’s why he’s a projected top-five pick.”

On Georgia Tech’s late-game execution:
“I was so proud of our guys on the late-game execution. We’ve been really good on that. This team has continued to never stop playing. We’ve seen teams and they can avalanche, go from 14 to 25. Every games besides one, the Duke game, we have fought back and found a way to give us ourselves a chance to be somewhat in the game. All you can ask for as a coach is a shot to win the game and we had a shot to win the game. Our late-game execution, down 14 with that little time left, was really miraculous and I’m just really proud of our guys for that.”

On building the team up:
“We had a great win on Sunday [versus Syracuse] and then a tough loss today. It’s just a quick turnaround. Part of that [is] guys are probably a little tired but that’s not an excuse. That’s why I always remind people that we’re still in year one of a rebuild. In talking about that, that’s where we’ve got to get multiple recruiting classes, so we can have depth and have more bodies. We’ve obviously got to continue to develop the young guys that aren’t playing, but that’s just all part of the rebuild.”

On Georgia Tech’s NCAA Tournament chances:
“I believe for us to be in the NCAA Tournament, we have to win nine [ACC games]. If we get to nine wins, I truly believe we’re in. We’re at seven – we’re going to have to get two more out of these [last] three. It would be great if we got all three and, if we don’t get to 9-9, I still believe 8-10 should get you into the NCAA Tournament in this league but we’re probably going to have to do some damage in the ACC Tournament, at least one or two games. We still have the opportunity to control our destiny to do that, but in order to do that, we’ve got to win some games and try to steal one on the road. That’s not putting any expectations or pressure, because I’ve been very upfront with the guys, but that’s just kind of where I believe that everything stands at this moment. [Tonight was a] tough one but you’ve got to give NC State credit. They’re a really good ball club.”

On Josh Okogie’s performance:
“Josh Okogie has just been outstanding for us this year. I’m proud of him. He’s going to be a stud. He already is a stud. However, he’s got to continue to get better and he knows that. He’s got to continue to get better defensively in some areas and just some other things like taking care of the ball. I’m two feet in with him; we’re going to roll with him. Whether he’s playing not good, good, whatever – we’re relying on him. He knows. He knows he’s got to get it done for us. Our team is depending on him and I’m depending on him and he knows that and we’re rolling with him. He’s had a tremendous, tremendous freshman year.”

Opening Statement:
“I’m excited for our players. Really excited for our players. You know, it’s been a turbulent, tough week for them and I thought they showed great resiliency. They came out, we had a great start to the game. I thought they played with tremendous energy the entire night. Defensively, probably one of the better games we’ve played. I’m just really happy for our players. Really happy that they get to experience something positive here, something to build on down the stretch and we’ll see what happens. But, anyways, I’m excited for our guys.”

On NC State’s four-point sequence at the end of the first half and other big offensive plays in the second half:
“I thought that was big. We had the dunk by Ted [Kapita], Maverick [Rowan] had the steal. I thought those plays were big. I thought that, offensively, for us too, I thought Maverick’s three-pointer there at one point there late in the second half was a big one and then Dennis, I thought, hit a big one. Those two guys … you know, those were monster threes. Not only were they three-point baskets, but they’re momentum swings, where you feel like they pumped some life back into you.”

On NC State’s defense:
“I thought we did a much better job of defending them tonight. They didn’t really get going from the three-point line. Not that they’re a great three-point shooting team but they made 10 on us at home. Our matchups were better. Individual guys did a much better job, I think, with [Quinton] Stephens and, you know, all those guys. So, anyways, good win for our team.”

On Georgia Tech’s final play:
“Well, I thought Josh [Pastner] did a great job. They did a great job of getting them a good look from it. Obviously, with us, you don’t want to foul. You just want to go hands straight up in the air and try to bother it as much as you can. That’s just one of those where, you know, sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn’t. But they did a good job. I thought that was an excellent sequence there for those guys.”

On defense against Ben Lammers:
“You know, I don’t know that there was anything special. I thought [Abdul]-Malik [Abu] for our team and Ted Kapita, the freshman, came in and those two guys just kind of tag-teamed him a little bit. We tried to keep a fresh body on him. He’s a really good player. I don’t want our team to take all the credit for the defense – he went 1-for-9 from the field – but I did think our guys did a good job. And not letting him get second shots, if he missed a shot, go in there and tip it in and those type things. We did a pretty good job of limiting him to just one attempt.”

On NC State’s 13 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points:
“Yeah, I thought that was big. Our defensive rebounding [also] became important tonight. They didn’t get a lot of second chances. They got a couple in the first half but not very many. That was probably a big thing in our favor as well.”


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